| || || Raturi, Shikha.|
| || || Learners' satisfaction of, and preference for, different instructional delivery modes : a case study from the University of the South Pacific (USP)|
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Call No.: pac In Process
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: This study focussed on the learners’ satisfaction of and preference for instructional delivery modes in the courses at graduate level in the University of the South Pacific. The recent use of computer and internet technologies to different extents has given rise to the creation of different learning environments, such as blended (20-80% technology dependent) and elearning (80+% technology dependent) while the traditional method of face-to-face may or may not use technology (0-20% technology dependent). The study is an investigation of these new learning environments in USP and acknowledges the fact that the traditional face-to-face classrooms have developed many pedagogical practices over the years. Yet, the search for best practices in creating effective learning environment is still on, with learner satisfaction being a prime factor in this regard. Similarly with technological advancements, the traditional learning environment has incorporated computer-mediated learning processes often resulting in blended learning environments and/ or fully online environments (elearning) that educators as well as learners need to understand. Elearning has evolved in different parts of the world quite rapidly in the past ten years, and the Pacific is no exception. The study utilized the case study from USP with a mixed method approach incorporating both quantitative and qualitative aspects to provide a complete picture. The instrument used was a questionnaire adapted from ‘Distance Education Learning Environment Survey’ (DELES), a valid and reliable questionnaire (Walker and Fraser, 2005). Learners from the three graduate level courses offered through three different instructional delivery mode (face-to-face, blended and elearning) at the School of Education in USP were the participants in this study. The learners (participants) in the study had diverse backgrounds in terms of age, academic level, professional experience, and ethnicity, with a gender balance. They were situated in different parts of Fiji and the Pacific region and the majority of them had an excellent technological background and high satisfaction towards the delivery mode in the surveyed course. The rating on interaction, autonomy and course structure were at i v highest levels (on a rating scale of 1-5) for a majority of the learners and there was a significant relationship between these and learner satisfaction; a test of Moore’s theory of transactional distance (1973, 1983, 1989, 1997) in Pacific context. ‘Discussion forum’ is viewed as an effective tool for interaction in a virtual environment; it seems to have provided the learners an optimum space with freedom of speech. The learners consider elearning and blended learning environment as enjoyable, accessible and flexible in terms of time, place and pace without interfering much with work and family. It is therefore, no wonder that blended and elearning environments emerged as the most popular choice amongst the study participants in terms of satisfaction (elearning in the lead) and preference (blended in the lead) in this study.